Schnitzel and Things

The vending cart wars: A lesson on the limits of social media

Many new business owners looking to break into the market have made fast friends with social media options, especially Twitter. But a smart, quirky Twitter strategy can’t erase the barriers to entry that have crippled many small business owners in the past.

For instance, Twitter has eradicated the old problem of foot traffic for many
street vendors, by letting foodies tweet their whereabouts to potential
(and loyal) custoemrs. In the past year, street vending has become something of a phenomenon. New vendors have learned quickly: If you’ve got quality food and a cellphone,
you can send out a Twitter and tell your customers where to find you.

But social media can’t solve all the problems for new owners in
what was once a very downmarket business demographic. For starters, not
everyone is a fan of upwardly mobile trucks.

This is something that the owner of the Schnitzel & Things truck learned recently in New York when he parked his truck near a longtime vending stalwart on a Midtown Manhattan block.